I vividly remember sitting on the bus next to a young guy who had an interview letter in his hand and address of a hotel he was going to. I, on the other hand, was going to figure out where to stay after I got down from the bus. I wonder where he is today; I guess I will never know.
I got down from the bus in the middle of nowhere a.k.a Koyembedu. The roads were bustling with vehicles and the morning heat wasn't cordial. Spoke to an Auto Driver in Telugu and he answered in Tamil. He took me to a hotel nearby after taking far too many lefts and rights. I wasn't afraid of the consequence; I am a 'man' after all.
I took the room for a day at ₹800. The room was damp and smelled like a room that costs 800. I switched on the fan and slept for the first time in the city that prefers to have Idli & Dosa as their dinner.
After an hour that felt like 3 minutes, I woke up and became 'interview-ready'. At the behest of a friend, I wore a Suit only for the second time in my life—the first time being at my wedding. I ordered a familiar Uber and put the destination as Ramanujam IT Park. The traffic looked like any other city where scores of people are trying to get to a place to do a job they hate.
At the destination I was welcomed by the famed Wall Street; a line of eateries serving south Indian delicacies. I arrived at the sixth floor of the Tower. A couple of people interviewed me, and I behaved the best version of myself. Exaggerated, of course.
While giving a long drawn answer to a question I remember the interviewer yawning; bored at the general gyaan I was belting out. I was shameless and wanted the job. I did not take that as a sign and course correct. I stayed the path and said everything I could say to maximise my chance of getting the job. I wasn't sure how I fared; Is anyone ever sure?
I went back to the hotel and to celebrate giving the interview in the wedding suit I was trying to find something to eat. I walked a bit to see what looked like a restaurant masquerading as a cafe. I took the safe option and ordered Idly. I do not remember the taste, so I cannot describe it. I wish it were exceptional. What I do remember is what happened after eating.
I asked the cashier how much I had to pay and then began a 5-minute conversation to understand what I had to pay. I gave her an amount which I felt was in the vicinity of what she had asked and was expecting to get some change back. To my surprise, she moved on banishing my very existence. Not knowing what to do, I moved on as well to maintain balance in this godforsaken world.
I did not pay much heed to the incident. I was conscious not to judge the entire city based on one not-so-good experience. It was interesting, though, as it made it to this post—good ROI in my eyes. I was returning to Hyderabad the same day.
While I was waiting for the bus at the side of a road that was being dug up for a reason only municipality knew I asked myself whether this city is where I will move to?